Running a business requires you to know as much as possible about your target market. You might think that doing this requires paying a marketing firm to run an in-depth analysis. Or as those of us in marketing call it – market research. This is not the case.
Instead, you can do your own market research to learn as much as possible about your target audience and prospective customers. I’m going to share how you can start 2023 with this stockpile of information at your disposal.
How Does Market Research Help My Marketing?
In a nutshell, market research helps your business because it reminds you of what should be driving every decision—your customers. If you don’t consider what your customers want (and need) then you will quickly find yourself out of business. In fact, a recent survey has shown that as little as one bad experience from a customer can spread like wildfire and cut your customer base by as much as two-thirds.
Receive Valuable Market Research Data Quickly, at Your Fingertips, and for Free
Unless you have an extremely unique situation or complex problem you’re trying to solve, the free tools that I am about to share will give you information that is profitable.
Here are the Top Free Market Research Tools:
- Google Trends —
This tool, introduced in 2006, is one of the best when it comes to understanding the market. It shows you a ranking of what words people are searching for when they go to Google.
Considering Google processes almost 100 billion searches a day, that’s a lot of data to have to sort through. What makes this great (besides the huge amount of data it sorts) is that the tool is easy to use and creates an easy-to-understand line graph showing how popular the term is.
The only downside for Google Trends is that it doesn’t give you an exact number of how many people are searching for that term. (It gives a ranking out of 100 but you don’t know exactly how many people specifically have entered that term.) Additionally, you may find that some of the related topics that you are shown may not actually be related to what you need to know, so a little sifting on your part may be necessary. But, considering what you get (and the fact that it’s free to use), this is something you should be utilizing.
- Think with Google —
While a lot of people “in the know” have heard of Google Trends, Think with Google often slips under the radar. This platform is a one-stop shop for data including statistics and studies. If you want to do easy-to-use market research, this is the tool for you.
Think with Google is split into four categories that all center on market trends (Consumer Insights, Future of Marketing, Marketing Strategies, and Tools), but this is the only real drawback as the system solely deals with marketing information.
- Facebook Page Insights —
Moving away from Google, let’s look at one of the most popular social media platforms and how you can use it for market research. Chances are, you probably use Facebook to reach its nearly 3 billion users. Page Insights will allow you to look at your posts and how they perform with your audience.
One of the biggest draws for this tool is that Facebook offers two courses on how to use it. Unfortunately, it’s limited to looking at your data—so you can’t look at overall trends or other competitor information. But if you are looking to engage with social media, this free tool is definitely something for you.
- LivingFacts —
If you’ve ever heard of the Pew Research Center and the US Census Bureau, then you know they are like a one-stop-shop for statistics. LivingFacts is a great resource in that it takes this data and condenses it into easier-to-digest overviews. What is really great about this resource, besides the huge treasure trove of information, is that you know the information is accurate and can be trusted.
- Census Bureau —
If you’re looking for demographics, you can always go to the source, the Census Bureau. This is updated with over 130 surveys each year to give you the best overall demographic feel for trends in the United States. If you have a NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code for your business, you can actually sort data based on what fits your industry. If there is a downside, it may be that there is SO MUCH information that it may be hard to sort.
Here Are the Top Paid Market Research Tools:
While there are a lot of free research tools, there are a few that charge a fee but in my opinion, they are TOTALLY worth the money. These include:
- SurveyMonkey (Basic Plan Is Free/Premium Plan Is $99 Per Month) —
What makes SurveyMonkey such a great tool is that it doesn’t use data and statistics compiled by another source. Instead, you can create your own surveys and gather the data that you specifically need.
You can send out the survey through email or social media or even put it on your web page. The downside here is that you may not get as many responses as you’d like. But if you give this a try, you may be surprised at how much information you will get.
- Statista (Basic Plan Is Free/Premium Plan Is $59 Per Month) —
This site is known for not only its great data but also the very visual way that it presents it so that the information is easier to digest. Statista is constantly being updated, which sets it apart as well. You might find that a chart you look at one month has changed data the next month as the charts and graphs will be updated to reflect those changes.
- Typeform (Limited Free Plan/Premium Plan Is $25+ Per Month) —
This user-friendly application gives you pre-made templates allowing you to create marketing tools. You can also create your own surveys and marketing forms that you can use in your day-to-day work and on your website.
Typeform is available on mobile devices. Remember, most people today access the internet from their smartphones. So be sure to get them where they are!
- Buzzsumo (Basic Plan Is Free/Premium Plan Is $99 Per Month) —
This website combs through several billion articles and trillions (yes, TRILLIONS) of social media posts to help you find the data you need to engage your audience. This site lets you see what people are talking about online and what is important to them so you can then use that to better market to your customer base.
- Ubersuggest (Premium Plan Is $29 Per Month/Lifetime Plan Is $290)—
If you’ve been working in marketing, then you know all about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing. Ubsersuggest is geared strictly around these two concepts. It allows users to check their website to see how their SEO efforts are doing and to check the sites of their competition to see how they can change their domain to take the lead in search engine rankings.
Start Your 2023 by Gathering Data to Create a Dynamic Marketing Strategy
Data is a powerful tool for marketers—in fact, it may very well be the most important weapon in your arsenal. If you are looking to best invest your money for marketing purposes, then having an experienced marketing expert analyze the data and recommend the best strategy is the best use of your money.
Would You Like Help with Your Market Research Data?
I love helping clients with their marketing strategy and implementation. It’s a great way to grow your customer base and create brand awareness while increasing profit. If you’re interested in learning more about working with me, contact me to schedule a consultation!